Latest Reducing Waste

Where Do All the Plastic Mardi Gras Beads Go?

They shine red, white, purple, silver, gold and green. Thousands of people cheer and struggle to catch them as dozens of parade floats glide by. Strands fly through the air, sparkling in the sun. They catch on electric lines, tree branches and streetlights. The music swells as and festival-goers merrily...

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Polyester Gown? Pass! Celebrate Graduation in Eco-Fashion

Remember your graduation gown? What color was it? Maroon? Gold? No matter if it was the most beautiful shade of your favorite color, it was still a boxy, ill-fitting, shiny polyester garment that you never wore again after the graduation ceremony. What did you do with it afterward? It doesn’t...

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Torrential Rainstorm Sends Plastic Pollution into the Ocean

This past September, a record-breaking storm dumped 2.39 inches of rain on Los Angeles, CA, making it the wettest day of the year in Southern California. A September downpour like this usually results in a phenomenon called the “first flush,” where accumulated debris in flood control channels and storm drains...

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Just Say NO to Holiday Catalog Gimmees

  As quickly as Halloween candy and costumes were stocked on store shelves, they are gone. In their place, red and white and twinkle-lights appear. The holidays are coming, and with them, the peak shopping season of the year. For the Story of Stuff Community, the holiday season is a...

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Out of a Box of Defective T-Shirts Came a Waste Solution

Maybe it has something to do with my lifelong love for math and jigsaw puzzles. When I see a problem, I try to solve it. And in 2005, I saw a waste problem in the t-shirt industry – and it seemed solvable. At that time, I was a merchandiser for...

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Life After a Clutter-Free Mailbox

You’ve used Catalog Choice to reduce junk mail, and your mailbox couldn’t be happier. Now it’s time to tackle the rest of your Stuff! These 4 principles will help you move from basic decluttering to a total transformation of your relationship with your belongings:           1. How Stuff...

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I’ll Show You #MyBag if You Show Me Yours

Californians came together out of a shared concern for how the the 13 billion single-use plastic bags littered each year harm its landmark oceans, lakes and rivers.  Together, the people of the Golden State passed landmark legislation to outlaw them. And they celebrated victory when, in September of 2014, their...

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Cultivating Climate Justice: A Tale of Two Cities

This is a tale of two U.S. cities building solutions to the climate crisis from the bottom up. We start in the Northeast of the country, with Cooperative Energy, Recycling and Organics (CERO), a newly formed worker-owned cooperative in Boston, Massachusetts. While providing family-supporting jobs for the community, CERO works...

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Reducing Waste Matters

The average American produces about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of garbage a day. That’s 29 pounds (13 kg) per week or 1,600 pounds (726 kg) a year. And that’s only the waste we produce in our households — it doesn’t even include the much greater amount of waste produced by industries and businesses each day. That’s a lot of waste,...

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Let’s Get Started!

Reducing waste is not rocket science. Getting started simply requires bringing back some of our parents and grandparents everyday household practices. Here are three first steps we suggest:

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1. Ditch Disposables

We Americans use many items just once – from paper towels and food containers to coffee cups and cutlery — then throw them away. In the U.S., we use 60,000 plastic bags every 5 seconds and Americans buy half a billion plastic bottles of water a week, enough to circle the globe five times. Disposables like these have become synonymous...

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2. Pay Attention to Packaging

All the packaging we bring into our homes is just future garbage. The more we can avoid extra packaging, the less waste we make. We have all seen those ridiculously over packaged items, like the single tomato on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in cling wrap or the small plastic gadget in a 6-inch clear plastic case.

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3. Enroll Others

Enroll friends, co-workers, church members, your kids’ school…

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Join the Community

Those three steps alone won’t solve all our waste problems, but they are a good start. As you work towards reducing waste at home, you’ll soon see that some of the stuff in our waste stream can’t be easily repaired and reused, or was designed in a way that it can’t be recycled and composted. The solution to this stuff...

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